Japan to release P8.8-B loan for PHL pandemic response

The Japanese government is set to release in June 2021 at least 20 billion yen (approximately PHP8.78 billion) in loan to support the Philippines’ response against the coronavirus pandemic.

The budgetary support under Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) Post-Disaster Stand-by Loan Phase 2 (PDSL 2) is seen to help Manila finance its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) testing, quarantine facility expansion, and social amelioration program for the vulnerable sectors, among others.

“Upon the disbursement request of the Government of the Philippines, the approval of this (PDSL 2) third tranche came as a result of the successful summit teleconference between Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte held on May 19, 2021,” the Japanese Embassy said in a statement.

During the telephone summit between the two leaders, Suga also announced a cold-chain development assistance worth 1 billion Japanese yen as he promised to spare no effort in supporting the country’s pandemic response.

Duterte, for his part, expressed his appreciation for Japan’s continued support and cooperation program, particularly throughout the global health crisis.

Since the PDSL 2’s signing on September 15, 2020, Japan has so far disbursed a total of 20 billion yen out of the 50 billion yen loan agreement entered into by JICA and the Department of Finance (DOF).

The first tranche worth 10 billion yen was made available on October 27, 2020 following the extension of the state of calamity in the country due to Covid-19, while the second tranche also amounting to 10 billion yen was issued on January 5, 2021 after a state of calamity was declared in Luzon due to Typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses.

The loan has a repayment period of 40 years, including a grace period of 10 years, with a fixed interest rate of 0.01 percent per annum. PNA.GOV.PH